Ezra Stoller probably wouldn’t care about this question, but let’s indulge it anyways: What makes a “beautiful” photograph?
To a degree, a lot depends on the subject, right? Would Ansel Adams have been half as famous if those landscapes hadn’t already done most of the work?
Then again, beauty is also in the eye of the beholder. Bill Brandt didn’t design the human body, so how can he take credit for its beauty in his photos? Because he knew how to capture the poetry of all its curves and angles — forcing us, in turn, to see the body in ways we hadn’t seen it before.
Architectural photography, though often relegated to its own genre, is no different. The task is to capture the intention behind someone else’s design — to distill the philosophy of a building into a single, digestible image that transcends explanation. It’s not easy, but when it’s done well it looks effortless. So much so that you’re left admiring the building alone, and likely never think twice about the person who helped you see it.
Photo Credit: Ezra Stoller/Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery